By Tony J. Onaissi
According to some figures on the web, many home health agencies are struggling to get enough referrals especially after the pandemic brought the country to a halt.
Proper marketing for home health and time are essential to get back in the driver’s seat. However, there are multiple facets to home health and hospice marketing. Managers should keep testing various marketing channels until they determine which ones get the best results. Then do more of it to grow your home health and hospice referrals.
We will focus here on one of the most effective but expensive marketing means to grow your business: Hiring and managing a sales team to have face to face meetings with home healthcare referral sources. No matter how important the digital world is, nothing beats meeting people to generate referrals at least in healthcare as the referral source must trust your agency before referring patients to you.
Your home health marketers:
It is important that you hire the right home care marketers, pay them a base salary and give them a financial incentive for each referral they bring, tying it also to the generated revenue. A two-bonus scheme may be necessary to reward for referrals and their revenue. This means that you would need to set targets for them, starting by the expected referral sources to be contacted every day. This is where a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) comes in as a very efficient tool to organize and monitor all sales activities, from visits, emails and phone calls and their outcome.
CRM to manage your marketers:
The CRM allows management to follow in real-time all infield sales efforts and their outcome and should be used daily to monitor their performance. There are two main benefits to a CRM. It allows management to monitor sales in real time while the marketers know it. This alone should boost efficiency.
Of critical importance is choosing a CRM with a simple mobile app for your hospice or home healthcare marketers to use. Otherwise, they will resist it and you will spend your time trying inefficiently to make them use it. If it’s simple and powerful, they would love to use it and hence their performance will be boosted translating into the much-needed referrals that your home care agency needs.
Saving on your operation costs:
Can you cut your costs with a proper mobile app? The answer is a definite yes if the home care mobile app comes with a tracking system via GPS such that it captures all work-related trips, automatically calculating the mileage expenses associated with each trip and displaying the results in one comprehensive expenses report.
The savings can be substantial because often marketers tend to overestimate the traveled miles to be reimbursed. Just calculate the number of daily trips they do, multiplied by the number of home healthcare marketers on board over a year and the savings can be in tens of thousands of dollars! That would be quite an achievement to be growing your home health care and hospice referrals over the traditional way (without a CRM) while significantly cutting your operating costs.
Last but not least, I suggest you meet with your team weekly to review and assess their performance and perhaps the best strategy to pursue. Strategies must adapt to the market conditions that may evolve or radically change; the pandemic being a striking example.
Your hospice or home healthcare marketers are key to grow your business and must be managed properly with a CRM to ensure efficiency and the best outcome. There are some specialized CRMs for post-acute care requiring little upfront investment since they are cloud based and charge a monthly subscription fee. Look for features of interest to you such as a mobile app, data to pursue your targets, etc...and make sure that the pricing is reasonable for your agency. Some require no set up or training fee.
Good luck selling and growing your agency!
Tony J. Onaissi is the founder and CEO of Isoratec, a home care technology company, and of Home Care Lebanon, a home health and home infusion business he founded in 1997. Contact Isoratec about CRM software at https://www.isoratec.com/